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Finally: VLC 3

largeVLCIt took the VideoLAN developers several years of development to leave the ageing v2 releases of their VLC player behind and release a shiny new version ‘3’. This is also the first version which unifies the releases for all platforms the player can run on.
Lots of changes went under the hood and I encourage you to read the release notes. The new release contains working ChromeCast support using a software stack the developers wrote from scratch, where the video’s you cast are transcoded on the fly if necessary. The UPnP support which was broken for many years, has been re-written and finally works again, so that you can watch the movies you make available on your LAN using for instance Plex or Universal Media Server.

When I compile the VLC package I try to follow the VideoLAN guidelines for its supporting libraries, so that the user experience and functionality matches that of the official binaries as closely as possible. That resulted in several changes to the libraries used by VLC:

  • Updated internal libraries: libass, libdvdcss, libdvdnav, libdvdread, libbluray, ffmpeg, live555, libssh2, x262, x264.
  • New internal libraries: microdns, sdm, srt.
  • Removed libraries (no longer used internally): aacenc, daap, faad, faac, vcdimager.

A note about dependencies for the new package:
My Slackware packages for VLC are mostly self-contained with all of the supporting libraries compiled into the package. This makes for a minimal dependency on external libraries/packages. But there are some caveats with the new release: most importantly, its interface has switched from Qt4 to Qt5. While Slackware contains a ‘qt4’ package, it does not contain ‘qt5’ and therefore, the vlc-3.0.0 package introduces three new dependencies, all related to the Qt5 GUI: libxkbcommon, qt5 and qt5-webkit. On Slackware 14.2, two more packages are needed which are already incorporated into slackware-current: libinput and libwacom (the latter one only for 64bit).

A warning to users who built a ‘qt5’ package themselves, using the SlackBuild script at slackbuilds.org:
Un-install that ‘qt5’ package please and install mine. The ‘qt5’ package built with the SBo script will make VLC crash with a segmentation fault.

A note on compiling:
When you want to compile VLC 3 yourself, be sure to install java8 and apache-ant or your build will fail.

Where to find the new VLC packages:

Rsync access is offered by the mirror server: rsync://slackware.nl/mirrors/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/vlc/ .

For BluRay support, read a previous article for hints about the aacs keys that you’ll need.

Note that I only built packages for Slackware 14.2 & -current. I stopped creating packages for Slackware 14.1 and earlier because of the effort it takes to build 4 packages for every Slackware release.

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode AAC audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

Comments

Comment from Gérard Monpontet
Posted: February 10, 2018 at 15:02

It’s the big class vlc plus plasma5 now, splendid !! 😉

Comment from Darth Vader
Posted: February 10, 2018 at 16:32

Eric, congratulations for this stellar batch of updates! Specially for the VLC3.

And talking of Plasma, looks like “something has changed” in your KTown, then the things are ready for syncing and upgrading OR we should wait your announce?

BTW, why LibreOffice 6.0 packages has suddenly disappeared?

Comment from Mohammad Etemaddar
Posted: February 10, 2018 at 17:18

I liked vlc very much. But it’s keyboard shortcuts are not the same as other players. It’s the down side of VLC I think. If we could create a script to make them the same as other players would be much fine.

Comment from Boris
Posted: February 10, 2018 at 17:59

I have a weird issue with 3.0. My DE is Xfce. If I have vlc working as the foreground application it’s color in the workspace switcher is a dark shade of blue, and its window button is selected. If it’s running in windowed mode, and I hold my mouse cursor over the seek bar it’s color in the workspace switcher changes to the background shade, and it’s window button is deselected. If it’s running in full-screen mode holding the mouse cursor over the seek bar will overlay the Xfce panels on top of the video. It only happens with the seek bar. Leaving the mouse over any other part of the control interface does not cause any of these issues.

Anyone else experience this?

Comment from Geremia
Posted: February 10, 2018 at 20:39

I’m impressed. It plays back some MP4 files I have with asynchronous timestamping smoother now.

Pingback from Links 10/2/2018: GNU/Linux in Slot Machines, VLC 3.0, Mesa 18.0 RC4 | Techrights
Posted: February 10, 2018 at 22:27

[…] Finally: VLC 3 […]

Comment from Jen
Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:03

Can your qt5 package be installed on 14.2 without conflicting with its existing qt installation?

Comment from alienbob
Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:58

Jen, the qt5 package does not conflict with Slackware’s qt package. All versions of qt can co-exist on a single system.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: February 11, 2018 at 02:04

I have added a ‘vlc2’ package to my repository. It’s the old 2.2.8 release of VLC and the packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current are renamed from ‘vlc’ to ‘vlc2’ to be able to distinguish them in your package management tool.
Note that vlc (3.x) and vlc2 (2.x) can not be installed at the same time, because they use the same directories. Install one, not both. Pick the one you like best and stick to it.

Comment from Isaac Gomez
Posted: February 11, 2018 at 20:45

Thank you for the vlc2 package 😀

Comment from gegechris99
Posted: February 11, 2018 at 23:07

Thanks for keeping a vlc2 package. I mechanically upgraded to VLC 3 before reading your post (my bad). As I didn’t want to install all the new dependencies on my slackware64 14.2, I was going to beg you to provide a VLC 2 package. But you already thought about it 🙂
Thanks again.

Comment from Desiderius
Posted: February 12, 2018 at 12:54

Thanks a lot for all your work Eric !

As I plan to acquire a tablet built upon a Rasperry Pi ( https://www.diskiopi.com/ ) that runs Slackware, I begin to look for ARM packages for Slackware.

I have found the basic packages for the OS but I will also need VLC 3.0 and Libreoffice 6.

In your repository for ARM, I have found packages for VLC and Open Office but dated on 2013. Do you have more recent ARM packages for these softs ?

Thanks again

Comment from alienbob
Posted: February 12, 2018 at 15:04

Desiderius, I do not have the time or resources at the moment to work on anything ARM related. The SlackBuild scripts as I have them will probably not work on ARM without modification.

Comment from metageek
Posted: February 12, 2018 at 17:19

Thanks for this super pacakge release.
Unfortunately with VLC 3 I get an access violation. I have all the dependencies installed on a pure 64bit 14.2 (all patches installed). If I just run vlc –help from the command line it produces all the help and no access violation, but if I run it without argument or with a media file input it just bombs out immediately:

VLC media player 3.0.0 Vetinari (revision 3.0.0-30-gef4c265336)
Segmentation fault

I guess I will go back to VLC2 for the time being.
Thanks again!

Comment from alienbob
Posted: February 12, 2018 at 18:17

metageek do you have my qt5 package (and its dependencies) installed, or did you compile qt5 yourself from the script available at slackbuilds.org?
I have had reports that the qt5 package created from the SBo script generates segfaults when you start vlc3.

Comment from metageek
Posted: February 12, 2018 at 18:46

Ah! that must be it. I do have the qt5 packages built from SBo. I will try using your qt5 packages.

Comment from metageek
Posted: February 12, 2018 at 18:58

Sure enough it works fine with your qt5 packages. Thanks!

Comment from aocab
Posted: February 13, 2018 at 17:49

just curious. should casting to chromecast work? I’m not seeing any build options related to chromecast?

Comment from alienbob
Posted: February 13, 2018 at 19:02

ChromeCast support is a native VLC functionality since VLC 3. There’s nothing to configure.
When you have a ChromeCast in your network, the “Playback > Renderer…” menu will show it as available below the “local” entry.
I have not tried yet to actually cast a movie to it, something to try later.

Comment from aocab
Posted: February 13, 2018 at 20:56

my chromecast device is listed under renderer but I can’t seem to get anything to cast. I get an error “stream chain failed”. in windows 10 on the same machine I am able to cast to my chromecast device with vlc 3 no problems.

read somewhere to make sure vlc was built with –enable-sout and –enable-chromecast. I do not see them listed in the vlc -vv output.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: February 13, 2018 at 21:35

OK… my build log shows this:

configure: WARNING: Library protobuf-lite >= 2.5.0 needed for chromecast was not found

I guess I’ll have to investigate further.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: February 13, 2018 at 23:15

Indeed, protobuf was missing. Once I added it to the package, ChromeCast started working. I am now looking at a video VLC is casting onto my TV screen.
I’ll try to come up with a full set of updated vlc packages for my repositories (I need to compile 8 of them…)

Comment from Matt
Posted: February 14, 2018 at 00:48

When I installed VLC3 on my 14.2 system with your Plasma 5 packages, amarok stopped playing back MP3 files. Nothing would happen. Oddly enough, Ogg Vorbis files played back fine. As soon as I uninstalled VLC3 and installed your VLC2 package, amarok worked with MP3s again. Any idea why this might be?

Also interestingly enough, I could play MP3s in VLC3 itself just fine.

Comment from aocab
Posted: February 14, 2018 at 16:39

Not sure if this is also related to the missing protobuf but I also cannot convert an mp4->mp3.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: February 14, 2018 at 17:01

A warning to users who built a ‘qt5’ package themselves, using the SlackBuild script at slackbuilds.org:
Un-install that ‘qt5’ package please and install mine. The ‘qt5’ package built with the SBo script will make VLC crash with a segmentation fault.

I have also added this text to the main article above.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: February 14, 2018 at 17:02

aocab – a mp4 file is video plus audio, and a mp3 file contains just audio. How do you want to convert one to the other?
It has nothing to do with a “missing” protobuf library since that is completely irrelevant.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: February 14, 2018 at 17:04

I have uploaded recompiled vlc-3.0.0 packages with a protobuf internal library added and explicit “–enable-chromecast” added to the configure command.
This was sufficient to make casting to a ChromeCast work.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: February 14, 2018 at 17:10

Matt I don’t have Amarok installed on my computers (they run the Plasma5 for -current which no longer has anything KDE4-based in it), so must guess.

Is your phonon configuration set to using the VLC backend? Perhaps the VLC3 library is not compatible with phonon-vlc.

Comment from aocab
Posted: February 14, 2018 at 17:17

I am taking an mp4 (video w/audio) and converting just the audio to mp3 so I am left with just the audio from the file in mp3 format. used to work just fine. still works in vlc in arch.

Comment from Matt
Posted: February 14, 2018 at 18:05

It is using VLC as the backend. Oddly enough using GStreamer as a backend will also cause amarok to not be able to play MP3s. At least I know it functions with VLC2. I’ll have to do some further research.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with amarok. It is as quirky as all get out but I’ve not found a suitable replacement. I’ve seen some stuff on Elisa, but haven’t tried it.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: February 14, 2018 at 19:12

aocab I just tried here with the new VLC 3 package and using the “Convert” menu I could successfully convert the audio track of a MP4 movie to a new MP3 file…

Comment from moldavia
Posted: February 15, 2018 at 07:16

I had the same issue as Boris on XFCE. When in windowed mode, VLC 3 would lose focus when hovering over the controls on the bottom section of the window. Also, audio would not work with Pulseaudio selected as the output device. Changing to ALSA would work, but it would give several errors when playback started.
I have since switched to the VLC2 package.

Comment from aocab
Posted: February 15, 2018 at 12:54

I must have messed up the settings in vlc somehow because after resetting the settings to their default settings converting to mp3 is working again. Casting to chromecast is also working now. Thank you for all your hard work.

Comment from Boris
Posted: February 15, 2018 at 18:00

along with the hovering issue I mentioned previously, I also appear to have artifacts in videos when I use hardware accelerated decoding. I don’t have this issue with vlc2. Will stay on that for the time being.

Comment from slackerson
Posted: March 12, 2018 at 01:51

I am using a chromebook 720p running slackware64-14.2 from a usb3 external drive.
I typically connect to an external monitor via hdmi.

For some reason qt5 apps never display to the external monitor using your qt5 package nor
from slackbuilds.org.

however when for example running openshot ( which uses qt5 ) from its AppImage file
it seems to work just fine.

your vlc package will work but only on the laptop monitor.

are you aware of this issue and/or how to resolve it?

Comment from alienbob
Posted: March 12, 2018 at 12:05

slackerson can you be more specific?
Is the Plasma 5 desktop displaying on the external monitor but the applications cannot be displayed there? Or does the Plasma 5 desktop not recognize the external monitor at all?

I do not recognize your problem and therefore have no solution or answer for you. Have you checked the KDE bugtracker already for similar reports?

Comment from slackerson
Posted: March 12, 2018 at 19:41

I don’t use plasma5 or kde anything. I was just using your new vlc package
along with its dependencies: qt5 etc… from your sbrepos repository.

if i start vlc while using the laptop monitor it will run but if i start vlc
using the external hdmi monitor it crashes. complaining about not finding screen
one or something.

the problem is not with vlc but qt5. this bug occurs on every qt5 application
I try to run while using my external monitor.

I found a bug report at https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/43986 about this issue
but they claim it was solved with qt5-5.6.0? I also read of others having
the same type issue with plasma5 and wayland.

It appears that some qt5 developers are aware of this problem and have a patch
for it or something. I can’t find it and qt5-5.7.1 is definately not fixed.

Comment from Jen
Posted: May 16, 2018 at 19:59

Just got around to installing qt5 and vlc 3.0. It’s so pretty! 😉 Thanks for the update!

Comment from Boris
Posted: May 31, 2018 at 15:56

just wanted to mention that the vlc 3.0.3 package uploaded yesterday fixed my issue.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: May 31, 2018 at 17:22

Boris: good news! Thanks for the feedback.

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